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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's newest iPhones, the iPhone 12 mini, ‌iPhone 12‌, ‌iPhone 12 Pro, and ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ Max, are equipped with a photography feature called Night Mode, which is designed to take crisp, clear photos even when lighting conditions are poor, such as at night.

Night Mode‌ originally debuted in the iPhone 11 series, but its use was limited to the rear-facing wide-angle camera. With ‌iPhone 12‌, however, Apple has extended ‌Night Mode‌ functionality to all the lenses, and if you have an iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, you can take advantage of the LiDAR Scanner's advanced photography smarts to unlock Night Mode Portraits, too.

Apple_nightmode-demo-photography_10132020.jpg

Apple's Portrait Mode has become a popular way of taking impressive shots using a depth-of-field effect known as bokeh, allowing iPhone users to shoot a photo that keeps the subject sharp with a blurred background. With the addition of Night Mode, iPhone 12 Pro can automatically brighten Portrait shots while preserving the night time feeling, balancing the light and dark elements of an image.

Here's how to take a Portrait shot using ‌Night Mode on iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max‌.
  1. Launch the Camera app on your iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max.
  2. Select Portrait below the viewfinder.
  3. If the flash icon is yellow in the top-left corner of the screen, tap it to turn it off.
  4. Look for the ‌Night Mode‌ icon at the top of the viewfinder – it looks like a crescent moon. If the ambient light is low, ‌Night Mode‌ will automatically engage and the icon will be yellow. If it's not engaged but you think your portrait would still benefit from ‌Night Mode‌, simply tap the button. If you don't see the Night Mode icon at all, there's too much light and you won't be able to use it.
    night-mode-portrait.jpg

    If you manually engaged Night Mode, you can adjust the exposure time with the slider just above the shutter button. If Night Mode automatically engaged then the exposure time is already selected, but you can adjust it yourself by tapping the yellow moon icon and moving the horizontal dial.
  5. Tap the shutter button and hold your iPhone still while the exposure time runs and your Portrait picture is taken.
By recruiting the help of the gyroscope in your ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌, ‌Night Mode‌ can detect when the device is attached to a tripod and will present longer exposure times than normally offered, enabling you to take more detailed shots in very low light.

portrait-night-mode-vs-non-night-mode.jpg
Night Mode portrait (left) vs regular portrait

When taking ‌Night Mode‌ shots during handheld use, you'll usually see 1-3 second delay and you can manually select up to a 10-second delay, but with a tripod you may see up to 30 seconds available in the Night mode dial.

Article Link: How to Use Night Mode When Taking Portrait Shots on iPhone 12 Pro
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,271
3,010
Err, correct me if I’m wrong, but the regular iPhone 12 also supports night mode on the front camera....
 
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edk99

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2009
859
1,406
FL
Err, correct me if I’m wrong, but the regular iPhone 12 also supports night mode on the front camera....

They stated that in the article in the second paragraph...

Night Mode‌ originally debuted in the iPhone 11 series, but its use was limited to the rear-facing wide-angle camera. With ‌iPhone 12‌, however, Apple has extended ‌Night Mode‌ functionality to all the lenses, and if you have an iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, you can take advantage of the LiDAR Scanner's advanced photography smarts to unlock Night Mode Portraits, too.
 
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Wig321

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2018
198
505
Found this annoying today, I wanted the flash on (it was set to auto) but kept using night mode. Too much back and forth changing night mode and flash settings.
 
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synergize

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2010
219
405
Took some Night Mode photos last night. The bright light in the sky is the moon and it was dark outside. The light casting shadows in the picture is from 2 street lamps about a 1/4 mile away. The camera works great and that was only my 3rd photo...I am impressed. How dark was it outside by the car? If you dropped a coin on the ground you would not be able to find it!


IMG_6217.jpg
 
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Greenmeenie

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2013
1,566
2,395
These iPhone cameras are getting more & more impressive. Most Photogs will scoff at them ever replacing dslrs, but i think that is debatable. At least for some people. I’m a photographer, and I am leaving my dslr home more & more.
 
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Denzo

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2009
294
264
Australia
I actually have 12 and a 12 pro.
Honestly I’m not seeing what the LIDAR sensor does. They are just as quick. Photos look identical. Thinking of swapping the pro for a normal 12 and pocketing my $440AUD. Am I missing something? Is it just marketing BS? Does anyone who knows their stuff able to shed some light on what actual benefits I get over the regular 12 camera because of LIDAR?

I keep hearing better low light and faster exposure.. are we talking nanoseconds, because the photos are identical... sometimes the 12 is sharper sometimes the pro is sharper. Marginal in both cases.

Also, would you believe that the telephoto lens, whilst it does get closer to a distant object, the wide lens on the 12, with digital zoom is just as effective (at least on all the night shots I took). Basically once you zoom in enough with the pro it still looks crap and the level of detail is poor either way. Soon as you zoom out to where it looks nice the difference is low.
I’ve kept the pics happy to share if any interest.
Just in case there’s confusion this is the best phone camera I’ve ever used and am blown away by the effects especially at night, just not feeling a difference on pro vs 12.
 
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Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,889
2,142
Australia, Perth
Once you know what the icons mean it is pretty easy to use. But i feel like Apple doesn't really tell you in the App. (Or i missed it)

I like to think this as a trade-off between more features on-screen vs meanings of what an icon does. Users are left to their own to figure it out.
 
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Perry Barhydt

macrumors member
Oct 12, 2020
60
73
Good article and easy to follow instruction. I hope to upgrade from my iPhone XR in a few months. I’m lean towards the pro for my wife and myself. i want the 128 storage min, more ram (down the road better performance) , and currently seems to be a much better camera. I’m excited y’all
 
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jntdroid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2011
594
783
I actually have 12 and a 12 pro.
Honestly I’m not seeing what the LIDAR sensor does. They are just as quick. Photos look identical. Thinking of swapping the pro for a normal 12 and pocketing my $440AUD. Am I missing something? Is it just marketing BS? Does anyone who knows their stuff able to shed some light on what actual benefits I get over the regular 12 camera because of LIDAR?

I keep hearing better low light and faster exposure.. are we talking nanoseconds, because the photos are identical... sometimes the 12 is sharper sometimes the pro is sharper. Marginal in both cases.

Also, would you believe that the telephoto lens, whilst it does get closer to a distant object, the wide lens on the 12, with digital zoom is just as effective (at least on all the night shots I took). Basically once you zoom in enough with the pro it still looks crap and the level of detail is poor either way. Soon as you zoom out to where it looks nice the difference is low.
I’ve kept the pics happy to share if any interest.
Just in case there’s confusion this is the best phone camera I’ve ever used and am blown away by the effects especially at night, just not feeling a difference on pro vs 12.

I'm curious about this as well. I have the 12p because I've always liked the telephoto lens. But I keep hearing how the 12's digital is just as good as the 12p's optical up until you get past the 2x to 3x range. If that's the case I'm tempted to go to the 12 as well to save a couple hundred bucks, and because I like that blue look, and I dislike the overly shiny sides of the 12p.

I'm also curious about video, though. I took a video the other day and zoomed in about 4x and it looked pretty darn good (again, on the 12p). But does video even use the telephoto lens? If so, I'll likely keep it, as the zoomed in video was pretty incredible. But if not, and the 12 would've been comparable, I will likely switch. If all the telephoto lens does is add some smarter depth of field (which software does pretty darn good on its own) and make things over 2x to 3x zoom look a little better, it might not be worth it unless you need those specific scenarios.
 
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